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CORSAIR AX1200i 1200W PSU question

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November 21, 2012 3:37:47 PM

I'm building a new PC and the prime design requirement is that it must run flawlessly for the next 5-7 years (minimum). My current PC is almost 5 years old and I've had zero problems with it (except that I should not have built it around an Intel mobo... *MANY* design bugs).

I had more or less settled on the Corsair AX1200i PSU which is arguably waaaaaaaay more than what I need. But I'm figuring that having a high quality PSU just loafing along will give me the high MTBF results that I want. Realistically, I could probably get away with a really good 850W PSU which is what I am running now.

So I'm ready to buy and am getting scared off by the MANY bad reviews concerning Corsair's AX1200 series. DOAs by the boatload... and failures within the first year or so of ownership... some presenting extreme fire hazards.

Wondering is anyone has any insight to what's going on here? And/or if there is a better high quality PSU choice. I'd really prefer to buy the Manufacturer's model (through Newegg) rather than a rebranded PSU. I had more or less planned on getting a high end Seasonic until I started reading about the Corsair AX series.

I don't mind paying $300-$330 for a REALLY good PSU even though I can get one that's "ok" for $100 or so less. But I very much mind paying $300+ for a PSU that's junk and based on the reviews I've seen, I'm worried that this model may qualify.

I presume that there are people reading this who have good Corsair PSUs and those with horror stories to tell. Not looking for Fanboy input... clearly, based on the reviews, Corsair has a problem. What I'm looking for is information about what's going on and which models to steer clear of... as well as advice on anything out there that may be better. I've had good results with Corsair in the past and have their 600T case that I absolutely love. I don't need to be convinced that Corsair has good products... don't know that the AX1200 is up to their usual standards though.

Many thanks in advance!
a c 271 ) Power supply
November 21, 2012 4:18:59 PM

Just so the rest of us can read through them, where did you find the reviews indicating that a boatload of them are arriving DOA? DOAs are fairly uncommon, but are a small but constant percentage regardless of the quality of the unit, some things just aren't going to survive fedex. Newegg only has 13 reviews with 2 reporting DOA which isn't much, just remember angry people tend to scream louder than happy ones on the internet.

As for a good PSU with a solid life expectancy, the Seasonic X series, Corsair HX or AX series would be my pick as they have been reviewed to be well built units and all come with long warranties(~7 years). I wouldn't go all the way up to 1200W because that is way more than you will need, step it down to 850W or so and you can save quite a bit and still get a top quality PSU.

Also, just to point out a bit of irony here, you say you would prefer to buy the manufactuer's model rather than a rebranded PSU and you say you would like a corsair, all corsair units are rebranded units, the AX1200/1200i are Flextronics built, the AX650-860 are seasonic built, and the HX series is now CWT built except for the HX 650 which is Seasonic, so don't knock on rebranded units, sometimes they are a better value than the manufacturer's
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a b ) Power supply
November 21, 2012 4:19:23 PM

theres also a corsair ax760i and ax860i now

just been looking at getting one of those as ax1200i was way overkill

hadnt read anything bad about the ax1200i

will have to do more reading now

any links to the bad reviews you saw?
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November 21, 2012 5:05:17 PM

hunter315 said:
Just so the rest of us can read through them, where did you find the reviews indicating that a boatload of them are arriving DOA? DOAs are fairly uncommon, but are a small but constant percentage regardless of the quality of the unit, some things just aren't going to survive fedex. Newegg only has 13 reviews with 2 reporting DOA which isn't much, just remember angry people tend to scream louder than happy ones on the internet.

As for a good PSU with a solid life expectancy, the Seasonic X series, Corsair HX or AX series would be my pick as they have been reviewed to be well built units and all come with long warranties(~7 years). I wouldn't go all the way up to 1200W because that is way more than you will need, step it down to 850W or so and you can save quite a bit and still get a top quality PSU.

Also, just to point out a bit of irony here, you say you would prefer to buy the manufactuer's model rather than a rebranded PSU and you say you would like a corsair, all corsair units are rebranded units, the AX1200/1200i are Flextronics built, the AX650-860 are seasonic built, and the HX series is now CWT built except for the HX 650 which is Seasonic, so don't knock on rebranded units, sometimes they are a better value than the manufacturer's


The reviews I'm referring to are primarily on Newegg. There is a disturbing number (much higher than what would be considered normal) of negative reviews for the AX1200 which I presume is nearly identical to the AX1200i, less the monitoring bells and whistles. The really bad ones are fairly recent which implies a bad batch versus a bad product design. I haven't checked to see how long this model has been out there so that assumption could be bogus.

I looked up the OEM numbers for a few Corsair PSUs (but not this one specifically) and the numbering scheme indicated that Corsair manufactures their own, at least in some cases. I'm just getting into this so it's certainly possible that I have not figured out how to decipher the OEM codes yet.

My desire to steer clear of rebranded models is more about Company X contracting an OEM to build something using inferior parts and designs... whereas a quality OEM like Seasonic will have their reputation staked on products carrying their own brand. I'm not saying that Corsair would spec an inferior product... just saying that my general philosophy is to give preference to OEM products. Saving a few bucks by using parts that could be questionable is *NOT* part of my procurement process.

I've already been around and around on your wattage advice. I am going to use a ~1,000W PSU on this build for more or less the same reasons that I drive a V8 and not a 4-banger. Your advice is duly noted but I'm the guy who will still be dealing with parts quality, upgradeability and so on long after the small benefit of saving a few bucks on the initial build has long been forgotten.

Yes, a 7 year warranty is nice... but the negative reviewers are getting eaten alive by RMA shipping costs. I'd rather have a 1 year warranty on a part that worked for 7 years than the other way around.
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a c 1167 ) Power supply
November 21, 2012 5:59:20 PM

The AX1200 and the AX1200i are not alike.

The AXi Series all use digital voltage regulation and have 80PLUS Platinum Efficiency where as the AX Series don't.
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November 21, 2012 6:09:34 PM

ko888 said:
The AX1200 and the AX1200i are not alike.

The AXi Series all use digital voltage regulation and have 80PLUS Platinum Efficiency where as the AX Series don't.


That's good to know... and I probably should have known that already, huh? :) 

The AX1200i is not as good a seller as the AX1200 so there aren't that many reviews on it. So far, the reviews on the AX1200i model seem to be more like what I'd expect from Corsair... although I presume they are using the same fan in both PSUs which is an item that seems to fail unusually often in the AX1200.

I guess I can wait a few weeks to see what the Holiday buyers think of both units. Or resume shopping for an equivalent Seasonic PSU. At ~$200, the SeaSonic X-SERIES X-1050 1050W seems like it may be a good choice and is certainly a lot lower in price than the AX1200s.
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a c 1167 ) Power supply
November 21, 2012 6:55:53 PM

The AX1200i only appeared on the market back in August 2012 and is more expensive.

The AX1200 has been on the market since June 2010.

That explains the huge difference in the number of Customer Reviews.

The AX1200 uses a Yate Loon D14BH-12 fan.

The AX1200i uses a Yate Loon D14BH-12 (L-SSS) fan.

Yate Loon is a top tier DC fan manufacturer.
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November 21, 2012 7:12:42 PM

Much obliged ko888.

In my 20-odd years of PC building, I've only had one PSU fail on me... an Antec. And except for a rash of failures on a very high quality fan manufacturer's product, I can't say that I've ever had much trouble with fans either. You can't always tell with reviews although the sheer volume of negative reviews on the AX1200 certainly deserves notice... especially the one by a customer who had sparks coming out of his that nearly burned his house down. That's the sort of stuff I tend to notice. Paying top dollar for a potential fire hazard doesn't seem like the smart play to me.

A garden variety $100+/- 850W PSU would probably work fine, as they always have. And if a $100 part died I wouldn't cry crocodile tears over it. Still, I'm seeking to use VERY good components in this build and am trying to do due diligence to make sure that high price = high quality/high reliability. Spec-wise, the AX1200 series seems like a top PSU line.
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November 21, 2012 8:25:01 PM

Best answer selected by jones0610.
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